Murder trial of Mineola man who shot teen enters second day of testimony

Murder trial of Mineola man who shot teen enters second day of testimony

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The murder trial of Jason Walters resumed Wednesday morning with testimony from the DPS trooper who responded to the scene.

The trooper’s testimony was followed by Tyrone Austin. He was at the EZ-Mart the night of the shooting. Austin told the jury he was in town for a family birthday party and says he had never met Griffin.

WEBXTRA: Part 2: Testimony continues in murder trial of Mineola man who shot teen

He testified they had dinner at the Jalapeño Tree before going to the convenience store to rent movies from the RedBox. He told the jury he heard the shot, but “I didn’t see him shoot the guy.” Austin also testified that at no point did he see Griffin being aggressive.

The defense showed still shots from the exterior surveillance camera as evidence.

WEBXTRA: Murder trial of Mineola man who shot teen enters second day

The state questioned Austin about allegations from the defense about “secret hand signals” and an organized crime. Austin denied any of that ever happened.

VIDEO: Murder trial of Mineola man who shot teen enters second day of testimony

PREVIOUS STORY:

Testimony continued Wednesday morning in the murder trial of a Mineola man who shot a teen outside a convenience store in June 2014.

Jason Walters is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chris Griffin, 18. During opening arguments Tuesday morning, Walters’ defense attorney Cynthia Stevens Kent told the jury the trial was not to determine if her client shot Griffin, but to take a look at why he shot the teen.

She told the jury Walters was scared and fired in self-defense after being targeted by a criminal street gang.

The prosecution told jurors “most of the facts are indisputable” and that they will see will see surveillance video from inside and outside the store. The prosecution said the incident started as a “staring match” with another person who was there with Griffin. Out of the video’s view, Walters pulls a gun and shoots the victim in the throat, according to the prosecution.

Jurors heard testimony on Tuesday from a 911 dispatcher, two Mineola police officers who responded to the shooting and the E-Z Mart cashier who was working that night.

A video from inside the police department was shown to the jury. It shows Walters washing blood off his hands after being cleared to do so by police. His defense attorneys say they were bloody because he tried to help Griffin after he shot him.

The video also shows Walters using his one call from the police department to phone his wife. He can be heard saying, “I didn’t mean for it to happen." He later says, “I did what I had to do. I wish it didn’t turn out this way.”

The first Mineola police officer to arrive on scene testified Tuesday that there was no search conducted of Griffin, the vehicle he had been riding in, or other people at the convenience store that night.

Tuesday’s testimony concluded with another former Mineola police officer.

Walters’ trial is being held at the Wood County Justice Center.

KLTV’s Blake Holland is inside the courtroom. Check KLTV for updates throughout the day. Updates will also be on East Texas Now and on air.

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